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HOW TO VOW

Updated: Sep 5, 2023


Vows are the highlight of the wedding ceremony. This is what we’re here for ~ to make commitments in front of witnesses.

When it comes to preparing your vows, the possibilities are endless. For some people this is exciting, and for others it’s terrifying. I want to help you make the process as easy as possible.


Here are some suggestions to help you think about what’s important to you when writing your vows. At the end I will share some examples with you.


  • Avoid last minute stress, and find time to turn your attention to your vows well in advance of your wedding.

  • Marriers can decide together if you expect your vows to be serious or humorous, personal or general, the same or different. You might also want to consider if there are particular religious or cultural pieces you want to include. Are there shared values, outlooks or themes you want in common? You might also decide whether you want to keep your vows secret or share them with each other before the wedding.

  • Talk with your officiant about how you want to structure the vow exchange. Most commonly, people read their vows. But you may also choose to do a line-by-line “repeat after me” recitation. I’m also happy to help restructure the vows into a question-and-answer format. This is often much more comfortable if you’re extremely nervous about speaking in front of others.

  • Things you might include in your vows:

    • Talk about where you’ve been and where you’re going ~ this might include stories or anecdotes that demonstrate who you are to one another.

    • Talk about how you feel about your person and this relationship, on your wedding day and every day.

    • Make promises you can keep. When you’re in it for the long haul, change is inevitable so words like “always” and “never” may not be realistic. Consider honestly what vows you want to make.

  • Once you’ve written your vows, practice reading them out loud, perhaps to a trusted friend. Don’t even try to memorize them (that’s way too much stress for this day!) but get comfortable enough with the words that you will be able to speak from the heart when your moment arrives. Remember, this is not a performance, it’s a love letter.

Here are a few sample vows. They range from simple to elaborate, from religious to secular. You may choose for both partners to say the same vow, or each may say a different one. You may adapt, combine, or just take some ideas and create your own. Feel free to search for other ideas as well ~ the internet resources are endless. Be creative, make it your own, and enjoy the process of considering your promises to one another.



I (name) take you (name) to be my wedded (spouse/partner/wife/husband). I do promise before God and these witnesses to be faithful and true, in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, and I will love you and cherish you for as long as we both shall live.



I (name) take you (name) to be my wedded (spouse/partner/husband/wife) to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish till death do us part. This is my solemn vow.



I accept you as my partner, joining with you today in matrimony. I offer you my friendship and loving care, honouring your growth and freedom as well as my own, cherishing and respecting you, loving and embracing you in times of adversity and times of joy. I promise to work with you, to nurture this relationship to make it all we want it to be.



I thank God for giving us to each other, to share one life, one love, one heart. With God’s help, I will try to be everything that God wants me to be for you, so i may meet your needs and fulfill your dreams. I will love you with unconditional love, just as God loves us. In love, I will lead you, protect and provide for you, nurture and care for you, honour and respect you. I promise to stay by your side, no matter what circumstances life may bring, and I vow to be faithful and true to you alone. May my love give you strength all the days of our lives.



As we marry each other today, I promise to love you with an unending love. I give myself in all things to your care. I commit myself to stand by you, whatever comes our way. I will be with you in sickness and in health, whether we are rich or poor, and during times of happiness, as well as times of sorrow. I will honour and respect you, encourage and support you, and devote myself to you. I promise to be faithful and true to you alone. May my love bring you joy all the days of our lives.



I take you to be my partner in life. I promise to walk by your side forever, and to love, help and encourage you in all that you do. I will take time to talk with you, to listen to you, and to care for you. I will share your laughter and your tears as your partner, lover and best friend. Everything I am and everything I have is yours, now and forever.



I give myself to you on this, our wedding day. I will cherish our friendship and love you today, tomorrow and forever. I will trust and honour you. I will love you faithfully through the best and the worst, through the difficult and the easy. Whatever comes our way, I will be there always. As I have given you my hand to hold, so I give you my life to keep.



I choose you this day as my (wife/husband/partner/spouse), my love and my best friend. I commit to you openly, exclusively and eternally. I promise you my unconditional love, I give you my unwavering trust, and I share with you all the days of my life.



I join with you now to share all that life may bring. I will be yours through weakness and strength, through sorrow and joy, through failure and triumph. I give my love to you and you alone, with all my heart, soul, and mind, now, forever and always.



I love you. You have brought such joy to my life. Thank you for loving me as I am and taking me into your heart. I vow to return your love in full as we grow together. Through all the changes of our lives, I promise to be there for you always as a strength in need, a comfort in sorrow, a counsellor in difficulty, and a companion in joy. This is my promise to you.



I accept you as my (wife/husband/partner/spouse) and life companion from this day forward. I will share what I have and who I am. I will be true to you in all things. I will love you enough to risk being hurt, and trust you when I misunderstand. I will weep with you in heartache, celebrate life with you in joy, and cherish you as my partner today, tomorrow and always.



My promise to you is a simple one. I will love you today and every day that follows until the end of time. WIth the passing of every minute, my love grows stronger and my devotion grows deeper. i will love and cherish you until my eyes can no longer see your gentle smile, my ears can no longer hear your loving words, and my hands can no longer feel your tender caress. From this moment until my dying breath, your are my love ~ you are my life.



We have been given a second chance at happiness. Before I met you, there was an emptiness in my heart. But your love has filled that void completely, and I am whole again. Today is the first day of the rest of our lives. As we begin a new life together, I promise to give my future to you in faith, my heart to you in hope, and my life to you in love.



I love you, and I love (children). Today we are not only marrying each other, we are becoming a family and beginning a new life together. I promise to be a faithful (husband/wife/partner) and a loving (mother/father/parent) and I will be there for you and for the children always. No matter what circumstances life may bring (with God’s help) we will face them together as a family. I commit myself to each of you for this day forward and forevermore.



I promise to give you the best of myself and to ask of you no more than you can give. I promise to accept you the way you are. I fell in love with you for the qualities, abilities, and outlook on life that you have, and I will not try to reshape you into a different image.

I promise to respect you as a person with your own interests, desires, and needs, and to realize that those are sometimes different, but no less important than my own. I promise to share with you my time, my close attention, and to bring joy and strength and imagination to our relationship. I promise to keep myself open to you, and to let you see through the window of my personal world into my innermost fears and feelings, secrets and dreams. I promise to grow along with you, to be willing to face change as we both change in order to keep our relationship alive and exciting. And finally, I promise to love you in good times and in bad, with all I have to give and all I feel inside, in the only way I know how ~ completely and forever.



“WITH THIS RING, I THEE WED.”

You also have one more chance to say sweet words when you exchange your rings. Here are some sample vows to say along with the giving and receiving of rings. Partners may choose to say the same or different things to one another as they give one another the rings. Again, feel free to edit, cut and paste, and be creative with what you wish to say to one another.



This ring is a token of my love. I marry you with this ring, with all that I have and all that I am

Response: I will forever wear this ring as a sign of my commitment and the desire of my heart.



I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and faithfulness, and as I place it on your finger, I commit my very heart and soul to you. I ask you to wear this ring as a reminder of the vows we have spoken on this, our wedding day.



I give you this ring as a sign of my commitment and the desire of my heart. May it always be a reminder that I have chosen you above all others, and from this day forward, we shall be united in marriage.



As I place this ring on your finger, may it always remind you of my never-ending love, and may it always remind me of the precious treasure I have in you. Wear this ring with joy, for your love has made me complete.



I give you this ring. Wear it with love and joy. As this ring has no end, neither shall my love for you. I choose you to be my (wife/husband/partner/spouse) this day and forevermore.



This ring I give you in token of my love and devotion, and with my heart, I pledge to you all that I am. With this ring, I marry you and join my life to yours.



I give you this ring as a symbol of my love for you. Just as this band encircles your finger, may you always feel encircled by my love.



With this ring, I thee wed, and from this day forward, I consecrate and commit my love and my life to you alone.



You are more precious to me today than yesterday, and you will be more cherished tomorrow than you are today. Please wear this ring as a symbol of my eternal love for you, a love that transcends all of our yesterdays, all of our todays, and all of our tomorrows.



This ring I give in token and pledge, as a sign of my love and devotion. With this ring, I thee wed.



I give you my hand as I give you my heart, unreservedly and unconditionally. I give you this ring as I give you my love, exclusively and eternally.



With this ring, I marry you. You are now my (husband/wife/spouse), my beloved, my friend. Where you go, I will go, and where you live, I will live; your people will be my people, and your God, my God.



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